Yes, it will overwrite the old file.
A bigger issue would be the fact that a mere 17mb could cause you problems on your hard drive from an available space standpoint. I'll pass along some wisdom I was granted by a "Mac guru" years ago.
"You don't ever want to let a hard drive get below 25% available for very long, and NEVER let it get below 15% available if you don't want big troubles."
As a rule, if you have a 500Gb Hard drive, you want to keep 125Gb available most all the time. You can run it under that for a while, but you should back files up externally and clear out stuff to keep things running smoothly. My Mini has a 500Gb and I have 340Gb available. I have a 1Tb Time Machine and a 2Tb Storage drive which has 882Gb available still. I also have more than 160Gb in flash drives, and another 160Gb HD for long term storage of things I rarely access. If I don't NEED it on my Mac HD, it goes elsewhere.
"Fragmentation" isn't a problem with OS X like it is with Windows, but you NEED "swap file" space for overwrites and edits of files you're working with, and if 17mb puts you in a bind... then working with a 500mb PSD file in Photoshop, with about a dozen layers in it, is likely to seize your system up. Even a good sized PowerPoint file could lock you up if you don't have enough available space.
Thanks, Mike. Your point is well taken and is exactly the reason I asked my question. My new Air only has approx. 250gb to begin with, so I am guarding my hard drive space like a watch dog. 17mb would add up over time if the old Flash Player version was still occupying additional space on my hard drive.
I'm probably picking at straws, but you could fit 14,000 Flash Players (at 17Mb each) on a 250Gb HD. Remember a Gigabyte is 1,000 Mb. Things that usually take up the most space are downloaded movies, iTunes music and if you use iPhoto... that God-awful, "more-than-a-dozen-copies-of-each-file" library it creates.
As long as you keep around 62Gb free'd up (which is still about 3,500 Flash Players) you should be alright.
No, your point is valid: Flash Player is definitely not to be blamed for chewing up large amounts of storage space. The problem for me is that I do need to keep massive amounts of data on my computer's hard drive. With my last MacBook, I found myself down to the wire and constantly playing the 'what can I remove now' game. Admitedly, iPhoto was a big culprit. I am planning to store photos externally moving forward, but you mention that iPhoto tends to be heavy on its storage library. Do you mind expanding on that point, and do you have any favorite alternatives to iPhoto for cateloging your photos that don't have the same problem, preferably in the free category?
iPhoto not only makes larger files, but it seems to spread them all over the place in the library, There are originals, thumbs, and "saves" it seems and they're ALL the same size. I never understood how a thumbnail of a 5Mb image file was ALSO 5mb, but iPhoto does it. FIles seem to be about 150% of what Photoshop saves them as. Apple has never addressed either the file size or the multiple file issues. That's why I stopped using iPhoto in 2004. I had a G3 iMac with 80Gb and i couldn't afford to be burning CD's every day to keep from overloading it.
From an editing standpoint Photoshop elements ($99) is a far better alternative. Free, would be Gimp, but it doesn't run so well on Mavericks. And the Elements browser is every bit as effective as iPhoto's. The MAJOR difference is that PSE won't put multiples of everything all over your Library (and subsequently your HD).
Ideally, if you have gigs and gigs of photos, you'd want to look into an external HD (1 or 2Tb), possibly an Airport Time Capsule (http://www.apple.com/airport-time-capsule/) $300's a pretty hefty chunk for an external HD though, especially if you already have a router and don't need the airport.
So I went with your advice and purchased Elements, it seems perfect for what I need. I am starting to transfer all of my pictures from my old computers into Elements Organizer. My preference is to store all of my photos on an external hard drive to save the space on my computer's internal memory and simply have Organizer know that the external hard drive is where to find photos. I've encountered a problem and am wondering if you have any guidance:
I have gone into Elements Organizer's Preferences, and under Files I have chosen the Folder for Saved Files to be my external hard drive. However, when I Import new photos into Organizer, the program is not copying them to my chosen destination (the external hard drive). This is especially strange because when I import new photos, the checkbox for Copy FIles on Import is selected, telling me that the files should be copied to my chosen Folder for Saved Files upon import. When I import a photo and then look at that photos Location, it remains in the original file location and not in my chosen Folder for Saved Files on the new external hard drive.
I'm not sure if this gives you enough information to help me along, but if it does I would appreciate you telling me what I am doing wrong, and what I need to do such that when I import a new photo it is stored on my external hard drive.
Well, PSE 9 is giving me troubles of my own. I try to open the prefs and it crashes. I don't use it much (haven't since upgrading to Mavericks) You may want to check in their forum: http://forums.adobe.com/community/photoshop_elements